ASP?!??

By
Home Stager with Designology Interior Design

So I have heard both sides of the coin. I know you do not need to be certified in staging BUT that it of course helps. Here is my dilema, recently I read the following.."There are NO OFFICIAL CREDENTIALS in the home staging field. There is no independent judging organization or association. Associations that do exist are owned by the same people doing training programs."

 

Does anyone know that to be true? I don't want to sign up for classes to be "certified" if it's a scam of sorts and I found what seems like a great set of classes through Staging Diva but I want to see what everyone else thinks. 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Stage It Forward...

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
267,964
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Welcome Christine.  I would say to promote yourself as a Professional with morals and policy.  There is a wealth of information here with some very nop notch designers, trainers, and associations.  I would do some research, read through Blogs, and enjoy all the wonderful tips that are given.  Don't worry about an accredation.. just do what you do best and promote that!
May 28, 2007 04:59 PM #1
Rainer
91,530
Christine Craig
Designology Interior Design - Santa Barbara, CA
Allied ASID & NKBA
Great advice thanks Lori. I have not staged on my own yet, have worked with another designer for over 5 years and am excited and anxious to get out there on my own. Thanks for the advice and I am so glad that Sheron told me about this place...it's definitely proving have a wealth of knowledge.
May 28, 2007 05:02 PM #2
Rainer
54,023
Kimberly Uksik
Independent - Pickering, ON
Home Stager - Durham, Toronto, On.

Hi Christine,

there is a wealth of knowledge here.  When looking for a course to take you should ask yourself what you want to get out of the course and what are your expectations.  Try emailing or calling a few people who have taken courses that you are interested in and see what their experiences were.  No there is no governing body that overseas stagers, like there is for Interior Designers. 

~Kimberly~

May 28, 2007 10:55 PM #3
Rainer
9,640
Maureen Graziano
Third Eye Home Staging - West Islip, NY

Hi Christine - There is absoloutely NO officical "certification" etc, etc.  Anyone who tells you there is is wrong.  At this time, it is wide open.  Anyone can call themselves a "stager".  These certifications, etc. can be yours for the price of the "training" you take. 

On another note, I "graduated" from Staging Diva.  The reason for this, was I was impressed by the fact that Debra was very strait forward and up front.  She said that you don't need to take any "training" (including her own) to call yourself a stager.  No one can teach you how to stage.  You either have the eye or you don't.  Debra's course was great, as it really was more the teaching of how to run a business.  I knew how to decorate, however, the business side is even more important!!

Good luck, and don't get hung up on titles, certifications, etc., etc.  because at this time, they would all be meaningless.  The bottom line is most people wouldn't have a clue about what any of those letters mean.  All they want is someone who will get the job done!!!!!!

May 28, 2007 11:53 PM #4
Rainer
68,512
James Frazier
James Frazier Personal Development Coach - Rockford, IL

Christine..in the sense that the training programs are using the word "certified" it functionally means that you took their course ( some actually have tests you have to pass but so far I have heard of no one who failed). Barbara Schwartz is also using the word "accredited" in the same way- it simply means you took her course, which then qualifies you to be a member of "The International Association of Home Stagers" which is only open to members that have taken her course-hardly what one thinks of when you read the name since it implies an association of  all stagers around the world. This is not the only confusing part about what Staged Homes has done. By using a term like "accredited" which is normally understood to refer to Universities and the process by which they are approved by an independent accrediting agency-not a three day seminar-she has created considerable confusion about ASP, since the implication is that her course is "accredited" by some independent testing agency. It is not. I have written about this several times, but I want to be clear I have no idea what the motivation Barbara Schwartz was operating under when she chose to use the term ' Accredited". I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was NOT trying to appear to be an accredited University. To give credit where it is due, her use of the term sounds better than certified since most people associate accredited with a higher level of learning , even institution, and certified with seminar training courses. But a rose by any other name is still a rose.

It would be likely that many people think these designations mean something beyond what they actually do and, no doubt, some people are enthusiastic about having letters behind their name even if they do not rise to the level of a University degree and few people outside the training programs and staging community would actually know what they stand for.

Two of our best and brightest here on the rain are dropping their letters and going "naked", so it might start a trend..who knows.  And I dread the day we have some well intentioned group trying to "regulate" and "standardize" the industry. That would be like trying to regulate artist and the creation of art. They just do not go together.

May 28, 2007 11:55 PM #5
Rainer
14,844
Lisa Rapose
ReDesign To Sell (TM) - Woodstock, CT

Christine,

As the others have already pointed out...no "certification" needed.  Truth be told, I have been equally (if not more so) impressed with staging professionals whom I have encountered who have no "designations".

I've come across some fantastic people in the industry...several who offer training.  Though I have not availed myself of their offerings, I have seen the value to be had by some.

Personally, I have a difficult time reconciling thousands of dollars for 3 to 5 day seminars (I, too, have never heard of anyone who has "failed" their "test") and the "certifications" they offer.  You might, also, keep in mind that some of these "certifications" come with restrictions.  There are certain designations that will not permit you to combine with other designations.  In my opinion, there are better options out there.

From looking at your profile, it would appear that you already have an excellent foundation in place for staging (interior design, work experience).  Although staging is an altogether different animal, your experience & training in interior design will serve you well.  It's a good idea to educate yourself on the fine points of staging.  How you choose to do so is entirely up to you.

Good Luck!

Lisa

May 29, 2007 03:12 AM #6
Rainmaker
165,257
Sandi Gerrard
Saint Thomas, ON
It's all about colour
Christine, I'm speaking as both a member of an association and as a trainer.  The initials or "certification" behind your name really don't mean that much.  It's the quality of your work and your personal business ethics that will help you to succeed.  But what you might look for is the ongoing support and marketing efforts on behalf of the members that your association and instructor can provide.
May 29, 2007 03:23 AM #7
Rainer
91,530
Christine Craig
Designology Interior Design - Santa Barbara, CA
Allied ASID & NKBA
Oh my gosh! How can I thank you all enough?! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question and for giving such great advice and explainations. I can see you are all going to be very helpful in my getting my company off the ground. I am so excited!
May 29, 2007 03:40 AM #8
Rainer
111,372
Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging - Toronto, ON

Your enthusiasm, Christine, is all you need. You already have the design background, you really have no need to take training on how to stage. Believe me, you will be bored. What you need to know about staging, you already do. Just apply your design theory/experience to a client who believes 'less is more' and the staging will take care of itself.

How to actually run a business is what you need to focus on. This is the same reason I took Debra's Staging Diva business and marketing course. She doesn't waste your time telling you how to stage, but she does tell you how she conducts a consultation. If you want ideas on how to run a staging business, Debra's is a good place to start. I don't know of any other business course that is strictly for staging.

That said, I have learnt so much here from the AR stagers as well as the Realtors. I'm thrilled to have found AR as I'm sure you will be.

To use ASP, or ISP, or CSP, it is a marketing tool to impress upon potential clients. I think there are better more honest ways to impress consumers. I personally don't want to 'pull the wool' over anyone's eyes.

Staging is not rocket science, you don't need to be trained to do it. Whith your background, your light years ahead of anyone taking a 3 day or 1 month training. You'd likely be better of put your money into building your business, not someone elses.

You will be a great success, just bring your enthusiasm and design experience to your clients and they will love you and your work!

Welcome to AR, I hope I provided some good advice!

 

May 29, 2007 12:58 PM #9
Rainer
91,530
Christine Craig
Designology Interior Design - Santa Barbara, CA
Allied ASID & NKBA
Dane: Aww thank you so much, that really means a lot. And you have definitely given me some great advice. Thank you!
May 29, 2007 01:34 PM #10
Rainmaker
324,697
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Christine: I agree with all above that the letters behind your name mean very little, if anything. I am also an Interior Designer. I signed up for the course at Home Staging Resource (www.homestagingresource.com). You don't go to an actual class. Everything is done over the internet and via teleconferencing. It is less expensive than the other training programs and you work at your own pace. Like some others, HSR assumes you have the skills to be a Stager, but they are very helpful in how to set up your business. I signed up with them because I wanted information about contracts, forms, business plans for stagers, etc. I found the course to be very helpful.

Probably the best education you can get is here on AR. You will be able to find out pretty much everything about anything by reading the blogs and other peoples' responses. Also, posting questions (like this one) helps.

Good luck!

May 30, 2007 06:59 AM #11
Rainer
179,037
Shell Brodnax
Real Estate Staging Association - Valley Springs, CA
CEO- RESA

There is no "accreditation" because a company can not accredit themselves.  A certification can be earned if they test, and YES I do know that some have not passed the test.

IAHSP is a private association for ASPs ONLY.   Stagers now have RESA-Real Estate Staging Association, this is a new association and we welcome all stagers regardless of backgrounds and training. Lots of support and bennefits now and more coming.

Seeking education in staging is a good thing. People dont buy their designations. College graduates certainly pay alot moore for their education but no one says they bought their degree.  People are investing time and money in getting educated in order to start a new business or perfect their craft. Just as they would with anything.  Obtaining a designation will not make or break your business, you will. the Stager is the only one that will succeed or fail, not their training.  I have seen designated stagers that are great and some not so great, and non designated stagers that are great and some not so great. Training gets you going and gives you some good tools and can be valuable. But they dont run your business you will.

If you need support in building a business and really need some knowledge to get going then do some great research and then decide on the program you need. If you have some knowledge and just need support find a business coach.

If you already know how to stage and don't need input on that area then Debra Gould's course focuses on marketing. If you like to learn on-line and need forms and contracts etc then HSR is good. If you want all of it and like to learn in seminar format then the CSP course is great. Just figure out what you need and fill the need, don't worry about the letters you get.

May 30, 2007 08:54 AM #12
Rainer
14,108
Angela Brooks
Certified Staging Professionals - Saint Catharines, ON

Christine,

I do work for a staging training program and I can tell you first hand that there are individuals who do not pass our testing. What the testing does, is tell us where they still need guidance and where we can then give them the help they need. I am working with 4 "CSP soon-to-be-graduates" now, that have not passed their exam. They are asked to come back to the class as a refresher (FREE OF COURSE!), we pair them with a qualified successful stager who we call a MENTOR, where they can get hands on practical experience, (some people just learn differently!) and then they take a redo test, before becoming a CSP graduate. Our program is intensive and their is sooooo much to learn in 3 days that some people just do not pass.

Choosing a training course or NOT choosing a training program is complety up to the individuals goals. My husband is a great photographer, but he still signs up for photography classes. Do they teach him things he already knows? You bet! But does he walk away learning something new? Always. You need to ask yourself...

1. Do you want to know more about staging?

2. Are you looking to find support in other peers (alot like AR)?

3. Do you want to be privy to additional information about staging throughout the years to come?

If you answered yes to these, then a staging training program may be just what you are looking for. Then it is only a question of...what training program?!

Research! Ask about their marketing programs, their support, their testing, do they have unique tools, can they teach you anything that can give you a competitive edge? Who are the trainers? Do they have successful staging businesses? Do they promote their graduates? Are they a leader or a follower in the staging industry?

And last but not least....call the graduates!!!! Email them here on AR....they will tell you if it was worth their money!

 

Jun 07, 2007 12:46 PM #13
Rainer
179,037
Shell Brodnax
Real Estate Staging Association - Valley Springs, CA
CEO- RESA

I have to say that when you invest $$ into a training program, you ARE investing in YOUR business and EDUCATION.  If you need training GET IT. If you really need training and dont get it then may as well be  stumbling around in the dark.

If you have business experience and a background in design or a really great eye for it and you are confident then chances are you may not need training. But training wont hurt. just RESEARCH your program. People have lots to say about it because they have personal experiences with the training. Designations denote the training you have recieved and you are the only one that will make or break your business.

Jun 07, 2007 02:56 PM #14
Rainmaker
230,979
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

Miss Craig (I just HAD to say that being how I am)

Anyway... get Barb Schwarz'z new book FIRST and read that. THEN pick your school...

Barb's book is a nice overview. AND it will shape your thinking as to what you need to blend with your design background.

I am NOT saying that you should TAKE Barb's course, it is one of few you might want to consider.

Me

PS: There is a comprehensive list of schools over on my pretty blog. (SOME are pretty rinky dink... so be forewarned.)

 

Jun 11, 2007 10:28 AM #15
Rainer
91,530
Christine Craig
Designology Interior Design - Santa Barbara, CA
Allied ASID & NKBA
Thanks Craig I am not to sure if I even want to go back to school. Not saying I couldn't learn something from it, I am sure I could, for now though I think I am going to try and work it out on my own. I know a lot of stuff is trial and error (I've learned a lot that way with my current job) and this place seems really informative so that I might have my bases covered. I will check out your blog though. Thanks Mr. Schiller. ;)
Jun 11, 2007 11:22 AM #16
Rainmaker
290,164
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

You are on your way then & you will get lots of helpful advise on

AR 

Jun 11, 2007 12:06 PM #17
Anonymous
Wendy Ray
Thanks so much for posting this question!  I have been searching for opinions and information on the different training courses offered.  There are so many out there, it's hard to know which one to go with.  Good Luck with your new venture, I'm sure you'll do well.
Nov 06, 2007 02:11 PM #18
Rainer
102,730
Julea Joseph
Reinventing Space - Chicago, IL
Julea Joseph House Stager - Reinventing Space

Christine,

I believe you read my response to another post, and it got your juices going! I hope the above responses nipped in the bud your need to be "Certified." It is amazing that great marketing makes us "want and need..."

Being new in a business is not easy, and I think a bit of armor and TEAM joining makes us feel safer against the blows to our new and tender skin.  Wearing proudly your "TEAM" badge is part of who we are as humans, and many times it is helpful to belong to one when you 1st start out, and need mentoring or a sense of community.  Once experienced and fully educated and seasoned, you'll find you don't need that armor anymore. 

When I see an array of doodle doos, behind people in this industry - my favorites being BBB and TM - BBB being Better Business Bureau, and TM being Toast Masters, I see someone still in need of heavy armor to protect them. I also visualize Michael Jackson's military-inspired wear including gloves...

You have by far the greatest education you can get in our niche industry - A four year degree in Interior Design!!  Continued education, especially areas you may lack technique or innate skills in- is a key component in business success, and you are very wise to seek it out. 

Your passion and tenaciousness will get you far Christine, your education is your stepping stone, all you need now is continued mentor-ship and hands on experience.

Nov 06, 2007 11:32 PM #19
Rainer
30,014
Lisa McIntee
The Staging Professionals - Saint Catharines, ON
The Staging Professionals

Christine, I have taken a few home staging courses...some great, some not so great.  However, my staging business was designed around my business background with a solid marketing strategy and some elements of design (both of which you seem to have). 

Securing my clientelle has had nothing to do with my training or my letters, it had all to do with my approach to the business and understanding of it, professionalism and my knowledge of the industry.  My guess is you are quite design savvy and will have no problem staging. 

Focus on the business of staging - maybe taking a business or marketing course would be a wiser way to spend your money than a staging course.  (my best investment yet was a public speaking course!)

Good Luck!

May 05, 2009 04:44 PM #20
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainer
91,530

Christine Craig

Allied ASID & NKBA
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention